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Mother of Amanda Todd, victim of cyberbully, frustrated by Dutch sentencing delay

The mother of Amanda Todd, the British Columbia teenager who took her own life after years of cyberbullying and sextortion by a man from the Netherlands, said the latest delay at a Dutch court has added to her “never-ending story.”
Aydin Coban is shown in this handout photo from the time of his arrest by Dutch police, entered into an exhibit at his trial in British Columbia Supreme Court in New Westminster. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-DUTCH POLICE)

The mother of Amanda Todd, the British Columbia teenager who took her own life after years of cyberbullying and sextortion by a man from the Netherlands, said the latest delay at a Dutch court has added to her “never-ending story.”

Carol Todd said she hoped to learn the court had converted a 13-year Canadian sentence imposed on Aydin Coban in B.C. last fall, after he was convicted of harassment and extortion in the relentless online stalking before the 2012 death of her daughter.

“Justice for Amanda is still important, and still very much needed in order to close that chapter for not only me, but for everybody in the world who has followed her story,” Todd told reporters at the Vancouver International Airport Thursday.

The conversion would have integrated Coban’s Canadian sentence into a Dutch prison term imposed earlier for similar crimes.

Instead, Todd said she was told the Dutch court wants more specifics on when Coban might have been released in Canada had he served the 13-year sentence there.

“It’s really important that there’s some sort of closure and that (Coban) gets something,” she said of the sentencing.

Todd said the sentencing delay reminded her of the video her 15-year-old daughter made and posted on YouTube, using flash cards to recount her ordeal.

“If you look at Amanda’s video, and the very first card says, ‘This is my never-ending story.’ This is how it feels,” Todd said of the delay.

“I was expecting today I would be able to say ‘the end’ … and now that pit in my stomach is just like it’s (going to) go on and it could go on longer than we all imagined.”

Todd said she was angry the decision was delayed, but she was trying to stay positive and hopeful that Coban’s sentence won’t be reduced.

She was speaking at the airport before travelling to Ontario for a National Youth Orchestra performance of a piece called “My Name is Amanda Todd” by Canadian composer Jocelyn Morlock, who died earlier this year.

Coban was in his 30s at the time he was blackmailing Todd. During his trial in New Westminster, B.C., last summer, the jury heard he used 22 online aliases to harass Todd over two years, starting when she was 12 years old.

The trial heard Coban sent photos of Todd exposing her breasts to her family, friends and school administrators because she didn’t comply with his demands that she perform sexual “shows” in front of a web camera.

The girl from Port Coquitlam, B.C., died by suicide when she was 15, shortly after posting the video about her tormentor that’s since been viewed by millions.

Coban was already serving an 11-year sentence in the Netherlands for similar crimes targeting more than 30 other victims when he was extradited to Canada to face trial in Todd’s case. Her death brought the issue of cyberbullying to mainstream attention in Canada.

Coban was sent to Canada on the condition that he serve any sentence imposed there in a Dutch prison. The Canadian sentence must also be converted to Dutch sentencing norms.

Prosecutors said two weeks ago that under Dutch law, he should serve 4 1/2 years.

In a brief court hearing Thursday at which a new sentence was expected to be announced, a judge instead said the panel at Amsterdam District Court needs clarification from Canada about the most likely date Coban would be released if he were to serve his sentence in a Canadian prison.

“We have to take into account when he actually would have been released and Canadian authorities have given a couple of possible dates, but don’t say this is the most likely date that he would be released,” Coban’s lawyer Robert Malewicz told reporters at the courthouse.

No new date was set for a hearing in the case. The sentencing ruling can still be appealed in the Dutch Supreme Court.

Malewicz called the 13-year Canadian sentence “exorbitantly high, even by Canadian standards.” He said Coban shouldn’t get any extra prison time, but if he does, it should be no more than one year, with six months suspended.